On November 19, Curtis “Cerebral Assassin” Stevens (28-5, 21 KOs) will attempt to defend his WBA Continental Americas Middleweight Title against James “The King” De La Rosa (23-4, 13 KOs) in a 10-round bout which kicks off the Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” HBO Pay-Per-View telecast live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Below is the scouting report for this exciting match-up:
Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens
“King” James De La Rosa
28-5 (21 KOs)
23-4 (13 KOs)
Curtis is a power-puncher that can end the fight with any punch he throws. He has plenty of experience and has fought better opposition than his opponent.
James has quick hands and is fast on his feet. He is a brave fighter who has never turned down a fight. He also has faced a number of current and former ranked opposition in his young career.
Stevens has been somewhat inactive, his recent victory in May of this year was his first time in a boxing ring since 2014. He also has a tendency to not let his hands go, which could be costly when fighting De La Rosa who is in a must-win situation.
Similar to his opponent, James has been somewhat inactive with only one fight since 2014. He also has a suspect chin; he’s been stopped once in his career. He will have to tighten up his defense when facing a heavy-handed puncher in Curtis Stevens.
He is a young, but seasoned veteran. Curtis has been on the biggest stage of them all when he came up short in a title bout against GGG and he also holds a TKO come-from-behind win over current top-rated contender Tureano Johnson.
Other than his recent inactivity, James was an active fighter for the majority of his career. He earned a clear-cut decision win over former title-contender Alfredo Angulo in his most recent win.
Curtis has knockout power in both hands; if he connects clean with any punch it can be a game-changer at any time.
King James is more of a technical boxer who relies more on his speed than power.
Curtis turns it up a notch when he smells blood. He shows off his quick hands and savage-like combinations.
James is naturally lighter in weight and will be sure to use his quick feet and fast hands to attempt to take Stevens out of his rhythm.
Stevens is a young veteran who has proven his endurance; he has gone 10 rounds on four separate occasions and 12 rounds twice.
De La Rosa has proven that he can go the distance without an issue. He has gone a full 10 rounds on six different occasions.
If Curtis can work his way to the inside, then he may be able to utilize some accurate bodywork.
King is an accurate fighter with a sharp jab and solid left hook. If he can keep his composure and put his punches together, his accuracy can become a problem for anyone.
Curtis’s best defense has been his offense. He often finds himself in situations in which his opponents are running from him rather than running towards him.
James is quick on his feet and moves around well. He will need to double-up on his jab, as he has done in the past, in order to keep his opponent from breaking through his guard.
Although Curtis has been stopped in his career, he has a solid chin. He has been knocked down from some big shots by big punchers and has gotten back to his feet.
His chin has been an issue throughout the past couple of years. He has been stopped once in his career and has been knocked down multiple times.
Curtis is a no-nonsense, in-your-face power-puncher who is always looking to end the night early rather than to drag it out.
King James is a slick boxer who gets very busy with his jab. Although he is not a heavy puncher, he is a brave fighter who likes to engage.
Curtis is a fighter who, at one time, was written-off by critics of the sport. However, he continues to rise to the occasion and beat the odds. After a lengthy layoff, Curtis returned with a bang this past May when he defeated previously undefeated prospect Patrick Teixeira with a brutal second round TKO. He is willing to take on any top-rated middleweight but none are willing to accept his challenge. So he decided he would rather be in the ring than on the sideline waiting for someone to step up.
At one point in time King James was a highly regarded prospect. He experienced some minor bumps in the road but is eager to get his name back in the mix. After two consecutive losses to highly regarded prospect Hugo Centeno Jr and Jason Quigley, James would not even consider a tune-up fight. He believes in his abilities and has chosen an opponent who many other top middleweights are avoiding. He understands the challenge of facing a seasoned veteran and big puncher like Stevens, but he is focused on the possibilities that lie ahead if he wins.
Curtis is a fan-friendly fighter and does his best to provide fans with the knockouts they love to see.
De La Rosa has fought in Las Vegas on four separate occasions, including his recent bout.
1. Will Curtis look past this fight and look to bigger fights on the horizon?
2. Will James be able to pull the upset like he did with Angulo?
3. Will Curtis be able to cut off the ring and not fall into fighting Delarosa’s fight?
4. Will Delarosa be able to handle Curtis’ power?
According to Main Events’ matchmaker and 2015 NABF Matchmaker of the Year Jolene Mizzone, “Curtis Stevens could be looking ahead at the bigger fights with the likes of Canelo Alvarez, David Lemieux, Billy Joe Sanders, to name a few and de la Rosa is looking to come in and put a stop to those big plans. When a fighter like de la Rosa doesn’t hesitate to accept a fight I wonder, ‘What does he know that I don’t know?!’ Curtis needs to make sure he doesn’t fall into the trap of looking past de la Rosa.”
Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Corona Extra, Monster Products, JetLux and Zappos. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.